The chapel is a feature building within the larger Village zone. As such, it occupies a prime location visible from the main road and along the waterfront. Its architectural language is derived from similar elements found elsewhere in the project, such as the undulating brick walls and floating white volume—but they are here, taken to another level of articulation. The brick walls begin to break down to an even more refined scale, where different heights of walls interweave with each other to create a choreographed landscape journey leading into the building itself.

Project Name: Suzhou Chapel
Site Address: 199 Yangchenguan Road, Yangcheng Lake, Suzhou, China
Project Type: Architecture and Interior Design
Architect & Interior Designer: Neri&Hu Design and Research Office-
Design Period: September 2011 – September 2016
Gross Area: 700sqm

Program: Chapel and Event Space
Special Features: Landscape Walls, Brick Patterns, White Cube, Layered Façade, Main Chapel, Mezzanine, Staircase, Wood Screens, Wood Joinery, Bronze Details, Custom Lights, Custom Furniture

  • Architectural – Materials: Recycled Gray Brick, Concrete, White Perforated Metal, White Plaster
  • Interiors – Materials: Recycled Gray Brick, Concrete, Terrazzo, White Oak, Bronze
  • Interiors – Fixtures & Fittings: Vola, Duravit, D-Line, Dorma
  • Interiors – Decorative Lighting: Custom Pendants by Neri&Hu
  • Interiors – Furniture: Custom Chairs and Benches by Neri&Hu

Design Team:
Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu (Founding Partners, Principal in Charge)
Nellie Yang (Senior Associate)
Jerry Guo (Senior Architectural Designer & Project Manager)
Begona Sebastian (Senior Architectural Designer)
Shirley Hsu
Dana Wu
Maia Peck
Brian Lo (senior associate, product design)
Simin Qiu
Contact Details:
Lyndon Neri & Rossana Hu
Neri&Hu Design and Research Office (Neri&Hu)
Address: 88 Yuqing Road, Shanghai, China 200030
Tel: +86 21 6082 3777  Fax: +86 21 6082 3778

Suzhou Chapel By Neri & Hu - Sheet4The white volume also receives special treatment, here, it is composed of two layers. The inner layer is a simple box punctuated on all sides with scattered windows, while the outer layer is a folded and perforated metal skin, a “veil” which alternatively hides and reveals. In the daytime, the white box emerges shimmering gently in the sunlight, subtly exposing its contents. In the night, the white box becomes a jewel-like beacon in the project, its various windows emitting a soft glow in all directions.

Suzhou Chapel By Neri & Hu - Sheet7Inside the building, visitors continue on their guided journey through the pre-function area and then into the main chapel space, which features a light-filled 12m high space. There is a seamless integration with the surrounding nature as picture windows frame various man-made and natural landscapes. A mezzanine level hovers overhead to accommodate extra guests, and includes a catwalk encircling the space, allowing 360 degrees of viewing angles. The mezzanine is integrated into a wood louvered cage element which wraps around the whole upper part of the room.

Suzhou Chapel By Neri & Hu - Sheet9A grid of glowing bulb lights and delicate bronze details give a touch of opulence to the otherwise quietly monastic spaces. Custom wood furniture and crafted wood details compliment the simple material palette of gray brick, terrazzo, and concrete. Another feature of the chapel building is a separate staircase alongside the main space, which allows visitors to gain access to the rooftop for unrivaled views across the scenic lake. Various openings along this stair ascent give unexpected views both internally and externally.


Lyndon Neri

Lyndon Neri is a Founding Partner of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, an inter-disciplinary international architectural design practice based in Shanghai, China with an additional office in London. Mr. Neri and partner Ms. Rossana Hu are the Overall Winner of The PLAN Award 2018, they are named EDIDA Designers of the Year 2017, Interior Designers of the Year of ICONIC Awards 2017 by German Design Council, Maison&Objet Asia Designers of The Year 2015, Wallpaper* Designers of The Year 2014. They were the winner of 2014 World Architectural Festival. In 2013, Mr. Neri was inducted into U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame with partner Ms.Rossana Hu. The practice was selected as the 2011 INSIDE Festival Overall Winner, won AR Awards for Emerging Architecture 2010 by Architectural Review (UK) and one of the Design Vanguards in 2009 by Architectural Record (US). In 2006, Mr. Neri was selected by I.D. Magazine as one of the 40 designers globally who deserve more attention in the “I.D. 40”. Mr. Neri received a Master of Architecture at Harvard University and a Bachelor of arts in Architecture at the University of California at Berkeley. Prior to starting his own practice with partner Ms. Rossana Hu, Mr. Neri was the Director for Projects in Asia and an Associate for Michael Graves & Associates in Princeton for over 10 years, and also worked in New York City for various architectural firms.

Other than an architectural professional, Mr. Neri has been actively involved in teaching and research. Mr. Neri taught at Department of Architecture of The University of Hong Kong Graduate School together with his partner Ms. Rossana Hu. Mr. Neri served as an active visiting critic for design schools in the U.S. such as Princeton University, Harvard Graduate School of Design, University of California at Berkeley, and Syracuse University. Mr. Neri and his partner Ms. Rossana Hu were invited as the guests of honor of imm cologne to create “Das Haus” 2015. Mr. Neri and his partner Ms. Hu have been invited to speak at Mexico Design Week, World Interiors Meeting in Amsterdam, Shanghai International Literary Festival, 100% Design London, Designer’s Saturday in Bangkok, Bauwelt Panel Discussion Badgespräche, BODW (Business of Design Week), Inside Festival during World Architecture Festival in Spain, Beijing International Design Triennial 2011, The White Box Workshop at Hong Kong Design Center, Design Roulette Shanghai 2011, RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects), The Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, Re-inventing with Design(Red)2010, Hong Kong, The Dutch Pavilion during EXPO 2010, Shanghai and many other design, fashion, art related forums and events.

Lyndon Neri is also a founder of Design Republic, a retail concept store based in Shanghai that offers a unique collection of products created by the world’s best design talents, many of which have never before been made available to consumers in China. The flagship store design, created by Neri&Hu, earned the Perspective Awards Best Interior Retail and the DFA (Design For Asia) Best Design of Greater China. In 2015, Mr. Neri and his partner Ms. Rossana Hu were appointed Creative Directors of Stellar Works.

Aside from Architecture and Interiors, together with his partner Ms. Rossana Hu, Mr. Neri is actively working on a number of industrial design products for various brands in Europe including Agape, Arflex, Artemide, BD Barcelona Design, BOLON, ClassiCon, Concrete LCDA, Driade, Fritz Hansen, Gandia Blasco, GAN, Kvadrat, LEMA, Meritalia, Molteni&C, MOOOI, Nanimarquina, Offecct, Paola C., Parachilna, Poltrona Frau, Porro, S.Pellegrino, Wallpaper* Handmade, Viabizzuno, and brands in Asia, including JIA and Stellar Works, among many others. At the same time, they are developing their own product line under the monicker brand ‘neri&hu’, which was honored to receive the Perspective Awards, the Red Dot Award and I.D. magazine’s Annual Design Review Awards. Mr. Neri and Ms. Hu were invited to guest edited the October issue of DI magazine in 2009, which is one of the vanguard architectural publications in China, they also published and edited a book called ‘Persistence of Vision’. The book is a beginning of a series of exploration on architecture and urban issues in major cities in China.

Rossana Hu

Rossana Hu is a Founding Partner of Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, an inter-disciplinary international architectural design practice based in Shanghai, China with an additional office in London. Ms. Hu and partner Mr. Lyndon Neri are the Overall Winner of The PLAN Award 2018, they are named EDIDA Designers of the Year 2017, Interior Designers of the Year of ICONIC Awards 2017 by German Design Council, Maison&Objet Asia Designers of The Year 2015, Wallpaper* Designer of The Year 2014. They were the winner of 2014 World Architectural Festival. In 2013, Ms. Hu was inducted into U.S. Interior Design Hall of Fame with partner Mr. Lyndon Neri. The practice was selected as the 2011 INSIDE Festival Overall Winner, won AR Awards for Emerging Architecture 2010 by Architectural Review (UK) and one of the Design Vanguards in 2009 by Architectural Record (US). In 2007, Ms. Hu received the Perspective Awards as one of the ‘40 under 40’ prominent designers shaping Hong Kong and Greater China. Ms. Hu received a Master of Architecture and Urban Planning from Princeton University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Music from the University of California at Berkeley. Before establishing Neri&Hu with her partner Mr. Lyndon Neri, Ms. Hu worked for Michael Graves & Associates, Ralph Lerner Architect in Princeton, Skidmore, Owings and Merrill in New York City, and The Architects Collaborative (TAC) in San Francisco.

Ms. Hu is also a Founding Partner and Creative Executive for Design Republic, a Founding Panel Member of 100% Design Shanghai, and the Regional Advisor for The Atlas of 21st Century Architecture, published by Phaidon Press. In 2015, Ms. Hu and her partner Mr. Neri were appointed Creative Directors of Stellar Works.

Ms. Hu has served on prestigious professional committees such as the Princeton University President’s Advisory Committee on Architecture, where she advised the President on architectural design and campus planning issues. Ms. Hu taught at Hong Kong University Architecture Graduate School together with her partner Lyndon Neri. She has won numerous traveling fellowship awards and has been a guest design critic at Princeton University, UC Berkeley, and Syracuse University. Ms. Hu and her partner Mr. Neri were invited as the guests of honor of imm cologne to create “Das Haus” 2015. Ms.Hu and her partner Mr. Neri have been invited to speak at Mexico Design Week, Domus China Dialogue, Princeton University School of Architecture 2012-2013 Lecture Series, Bauwelt Panel Discussion Badgespräche, BODW (Business of Design Week), Inside Festival during World Architecture Festival in Spain, Beijing International Design Triennial 2011, The White Box Workshop at Hong Kong Design Center, Design Roulette Shanghai 2011, RIBA (The Royal Institute of British Architects), The Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, Re-inventing with Design(Red)2010, Hong Kong, The Dutch Pavilion during EXPO 2010, Shanghai and many other design, fashion, art related forums and events.

Aside from Architecture and Interiors, together with her partner Mr. Neri, Ms. Rossana Hu, is actively working on a number of industrial design products for various brands in Europe including Agape, Arflex, Artemide, BD Barcelona Design, BOLON, ClassiCon, Concrete LCDA, Driade, Fritz Hansen, Gandia Blasco, GAN, Kvadrat, LEMA, Meritalia, Molteni&C, MOOOI, Nanimarquina, Offecct, Parachilna, Paola C., Poltrona Frau, Porro, S.Pellegrino, Wallpaper* Handmade, Viabizzuno,and brands in Asia, including JIA and Stellar Works, among many others. At the same time, they are developing their own product line under the monicker brand ‘neri&hu’, which was honored to receive the Perspective Awards, the Red Dot Award and I.D. magazine’s Annual Design Review Awards. Mr. Neri and Ms. Hu were invited to guest edited the October issue of DI magazine in 2009, which is one of the vanguard architectural publications in China, they also published and edited a book called ‘Persistence of Vision’. The book is a beginning of a series of exploration on architecture and urban issues in major cities in China.

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